Calling on 3H's hardiest hikers. Sorry for the short notice, but our Sunday has just opened up, we are feeling adventurous, and the weather looks just right for an exciting Superstition adventure. Please consider coming out to join us, but only if you feel comfortable with a long hike, involving some creek bed boulder hopping, rugged terrain, and a bit of route finding. This route will make a full loop around the towering Battleship Mountain as we traverse Garden Valley, Boulder Creek, and LaBarge Creek on our way out to the picturesque Lower LaBarge Box Canyon.
Special Note: We have hiked to Battleship Mountain, and we have hiked to Lower LaBarge Box, but we have never attempted this loop. We have been on every inch of this route except the 1/2 mile connecting piece from the Battleship Saddle to the Lower LaBarge Box. Small matter, perhaps, but it's worth noting, and only adds to the sense of adventure!
Length: 12.5 miles +/- Round Trip
Rating/Difficulty: Moderately Difficult to Difficult (tending toward the difficult side) depending on skill level. At times, we will be hiking through dry creek beds filled with rocks varying in size from sand pebbles to car sized boulders. The distance will be challenging, and the sun will be out. If you are uncertain of your abilities, have questions, or need direction, please let us know.
Accumulated Elevation Gain: 2400 feet
Hiking Time: Expect 7.5 to 8.5 hours for this hike.
What To Bring: Please bring plenty of water (at least 4-5 liters) and nutritious snacks. We will take breaks for lunch/snacks. As always, bring good shoes, hats, sunscreen, cameras, etc.
Note: There is no water at the trailhead. There is a bathroom.
Although these links do not set forth the exact hike we are posting here, they do provide good descriptions of the area, and give those interested a sense of the terrain involved in this undertaking. http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=229 http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=261
Due to the nature of this hike, and the lateness of this post, we are uncertain if enough hikers will sign up to make a carpool location feasible. However, if there is enough interest, we might suggest the Walgreen's parking lot ( park away from the building) at the corner of Idaho and Old West Hwy. in Apache Junction. Here is a link for that location. http://www.walgreens.com/locator/Walgreens-55-W-APACHE-TRL-APACHE-JUNCTION-AZ-85120/id=4188
Directions to the trailhead: Take US 60 towards Apache Junction and exit onto Idaho Rd. AZ 88, exit 196. Follow AZ 88 northeast about 6 miles or so to First Water Rd. (just beyond the entrance to the Lost Dutchman State Park) and turn right. Follow this dirt road (passable by passenger car, but SUV or better is recommended) for 2.6 miles to the trailhead at the end of the road. If there is no parking available there, please park in the overflow/horse trailer lot 1/2 mile back down the road.
For those coming down the 101 to the 202, it is suggested that you exit at Brown Road (rather than going down to US 60) and take it east about 5 miles to AZ 88. From there, turn left, and head to the First Water turnoff just beyond the Lost Dutchman State Park.